Date of this Version



© 1998, The Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska on behalf of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln Extension. All rights reserved.


Leasing agricultural land is very common in Nebraska. This NebGuide discusses the most common leasing arrangements in the state in 1996.

Nearly half, 47 percent, of Nebraska's agricultural land is leased each year; and of the cropland acreage, cropshare leasing remains the primary leasing arrangement used throughout most of the state. In cropshare arrangements, the landowner and the tenant agree to specific shares of the crop production as well as shares of certain key crop input costs. In principle, the division of the output between the landowner and the tenant should reflect the relative level of contributions of inputs each make to the production process.

Each cropshare lease can be unique, reflecting the specific negotiation process between the landowner and the tenant. However, general patterns of output and input shares within the rental market tend to develop across regions of the state over time. They evolve from the market negotiation process and reflect what is considered fair and acceptable to both parties. These patterns tend to be based on the types of crops grown as well as the soils, climate, and crop productivity of the area. And since Nebraska is a very transitional agricultural state from west to east and north to south, the patterns vary substantially by sub-state area. Both landowners and tenants can benefit from familiarity with the customary leasing arrangements of their area.

This NebGuide is based on the 1996 UNL Cropland Rental Arrangement Survey. It was a statewide mail survey of tenants who provided specific information on over 1,000 cropshare leases. The findings reported here reflect average statewide or sub-state regional conditions; so specific arrangements appropriate for a particular county or local market may differ. Likewise, the circumstances of a particular lease may require cropshare arrangements that vary from what is deemed typical in that area. Nevertheless, the patterns presented here provide important benchmark information from which market participants can build equitable share rental agreements.